The Roots of the Krishna Consciousness movement
For systematic dissemination of Vedic Knowledge to all human beings, Sampradayas (4 Disciplic Successions) were created and authorized by Lord Krishna Himself. A Sampradaya is a bonafide chain of Disciplic Succession of Genuine Spiritual Masters (Acharyas) beginning again with Lord Krishna Himself.
In the Bhagavad Gita 4.3 Lord Krishna stated 5000 years ago
imam rajarshayo viduh
sa kaleneha mahata
yogo nashtah parantapa
evam—thus; parampara—by disciplic succession; praptam—received; imam—this science; raja-rishayah—the saintly kings; viduh—understood; sah—that knowledge; kalena—in the course of time; iha—in this world; mahata—great; yogah—the science of one’s relationship with the Supreme; nashtah—scattered; parantapa—O Arjuna, subduer of the enemies.
This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.
PURPORT BY SRILA BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA
It is clearly stated that the Gita was especially meant for the saintly kings because they were to execute its purpose in ruling over the citizens. Certainly Bhagavad-gita was never meant for the demonic persons, who would dissipate its value for no one’s benefit and would devise all types of interpretations according to personal whims. As soon as the original purpose was scattered by the motives of the unscrupulous commentators, there arose the need to re-establish the disciplic succession. Five thousand years ago it was detected by the Lord Himself that the disciplic succession was broken, and therefore He declared that the purpose of the Gita appeared to be lost. In the sam
e way, at the present moment also there are so many editions of the Gita (especially in English), but almost all of them are not according to authorized disciplic succession. There are innumerable interpretations rendered by different mundane scholars, but almost all of them do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, although they make a good business on the words of Sri Krishna. This spirit is deceeption, because the cheaters do not believe in God but simply enjoy the property of the Supreme. Since there is a great need of an edition of the Gita in English, as it is received by the parampara (disciplic succession) system, an attempt is made herewith to fulfil this great want. Bhagavad-gita—accepted as it is—is a great boon to humanity; but if it is accepted as a treatise of philosophical speculations, it is simply a waste of time.
There are 4 such Sampradayas
1) Brahma sampradaya,
2)Rudra Sampradaya ,
3)Shri Sampradaya and
4) Kumara Sampradaya
These 4 Paramparas or Sampradayas Were Started By Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva (Rudra) The Goddess Lakshmi and the 4 Kumaras.
- The Brahma Sampradaya Krishna gave the Knowledge of Vedas first to Brahmaji through his heart, Brahmaji gave the same to his Son Narada, Narada gave that same knowledge to Srila Vyasadeva. Then Srila Vyasadeva instructed the same to Madhvacharya and so on. In this way the Vedic Scriptures remained safe in the hands of Acharyas (Spiritual masters or Gurus) of Different Sampradayas. The scriptures says that Madhvacharya was an incarnationof god Vayu.
- Rudra Sampradaya (Lord Shiva) The Rudra Sampradaya was started by Lord Shiva, He (Shiva) choosed Vishnuswami as an authentic representative of his Sampradaya. The scriptures say that Vishnuswami was an Incarnation of a Portion of Vamana. Eminent Acharyas of this Sampradaya are Vishnuswami & Sridhara Swami.
- Shri Sampradaya (Lakshmi) Shri Sampradaya was started by the Goddess of Fortune Lakshmiji who choose Ramanujacharya as an authentic representative of her Sampradaya. In the scriptures Ramanujacharya (Eminent Aacharya) Described as Incarnation of Younger Brother (Anuj) of Lord Rama.
- Kumara Sampradaya (Refer to Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 11) 4 Kumaras) The Kumara Sampradaya was started from 4 Kameras who choose Nimbarkacharya as an authentic representative for Kumara Sampradaya. Eminent Acharyas of this Sampradaya are Nimbarkacharya and Vallabhacharya. In the Scriptures Nimbarkacharya is described as an Incarnation of Sanaka Kumara.
The Padma Purana states:
sampradāyavihīnā ye mantrāste niṣphalā matāḥ|
ataḥ kalau bhaviśyanti catvāraḥ sampradāyinaḥ||
Śrī-brahmā-rudra-sanakā vaiṣṇavā kṣitipāvanāḥ|
catvāraste kalau bhāvya hyutkale puruṣottamāt||
rāmānujaṃ śrī svicakre madhvācaryaṃ caturmukhaḥ|
śrīviṣṇusvāminaṃ rudro nimbādityaṃ catuḥsanāḥ||
TRANSLATION: ‘Any mantra that does not come in disciplic succession is considered to be fruitless. Therefore, four divine individuals will appear in the age of Kali to found disciplic schools. The founders of these four Vaisnava sampradäyas are Laksmi or Sri, Brahma, Rudra and Sanaka Rishi, and the Supreme Lord, Purushottama, is the quintessence of these four sampradayas ‘
The 4 sampradayas are also described in Garga-Samhita Canto 10, Chapter 61, verses 23,24,25,26
vamanas vidhi sesah sanako visnu vakyatah
dharmartha hetave caite bhavisyanti dvijah kalau
visnusvami vamanamsas tatha madhvastu brahmanah
ramanujas tu sesamsa nimbaditya sanakasya ca
ete kalau yuge bhavyah sampradaya pravartakah
samvatsare vikrama catvarah ksiti pavanah
sampradaya vihina ye mantraste nisphalah smritah
tasmac ca gamanam hy asti sampradaya narair api
“Vamana, Brahma, Ananta Sesa, Sanaka Kumara will appear as brahmanas by the order of Visnu for the preservation of eternal righteousness in Kali yuga. Visnusvami, Madhvacarya, Ramanuja and Nimbaditya will appear respectively as a portion of Vamana, Brahma, Ananta Sesa and Sanaka Kumara. These four saviors will be the establishers of the four authorised and empowered spiritual channels of disciplic succession in the period calcuated from the reign of King Vikrama [in 54 BC] subsequently through the 432 000 year cycle of Kali yuga. These four authorised and empowered spiritual channels of disciplic succession are to be fully accepted by all beings; as any word, combination of words pr formulation of sound frequencies, invoked or addressed, audible or inaudible, secret of revealed, ancient or contemporary outside their auspices prove to have absolutely no efficacy.”
The entire Hare Krishna Society with its many branches including the Gaudiya Math and International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society IPBYS, Iskcon belong to the Brahma Sampradaya. We are continuing the teachings of our Sampradaya “AS IT IS” without changing any of Lord Krishnas original words or the meaning of the various tattvas.
THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION OF BRAHMA SAMPRADAYA
The IBPYS International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society was started by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja who is the 33rd Acharya of the Brahma Sampradaya.
The Gaudiya Math was started by Srila Bhaktisidhanta Maharaja, the spiritual master of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Anyone who follows a yoga process faithfully is a yogi. In Bhagavad gita 6.47 Lord Krishna declares
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
“Of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.”
Bhakti yoga or the science of Krishna consciousness is a combination of sublime, deep and all-encompassing philosophy, (acintya bhedabheda tattva), practical actions (sadhana) which are performed daily and which purify the consciousness of the yogi, and observance of religious activities (dharma). They are all mutually supportive and interdependent.
These activities are not an artificial imposition on the mind and body. It is natural to be Krishna conscious in a pure condition, just as good health is natural to a healthy person. But good health needs protecting and if we are sick we need medicine to remove the disease.
Bhakti yoga is the process to remove the material disease and restore good health. It results in pure Krishna consciousness which is our natural consciousness.
Sanatana Dharma is the original religion that comes down from the dawn of creation of this universe. What is Sanatana Dharma? Sanatana means eternal and Dharma means duty, activity or nature. Thus Sanatana Dharma means the eternal duty or the eternal activity or the eternal nature of the soul. To awaken the eternal spiritual nature of the soul and realize God is the goal of all religions.
Wouldn’t it be simple and less confusing if there was only one scripture teaching us of one God and one religion rather than all these varieties of God’s and scriptures? Yes, it would be less confusing but it would also be less accommodating to have only one level of scripture for everyone. This is because there are a wide variety of people on the planet.
To cater to this huge variety of people at different levels, Sanatana Dharma or the details about the nature of God and the soul are given to the people according to the different times, places and circumstances. To the spiritually advanced, more details are given and to the spiritually bankrupt, only abc instructions are given.